Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Foxes Cruelly Beaten At Anfield

Leicester City were hugely unfortunate to end 2022 with a defeat after leaving Anfield empty-handed, as Liverpool came from behind to win 2-1 in the Premier League on Friday night.

Two own goals from Wout Faes towards the end of the first half turned the game on its head after Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall had put the Foxes in front. It what proved to be a strong but frustrating match for the away side. 

Ahead of kick-off, Liverpool and Leicester City’s players and supporters paid tribute as wreaths were laid by Alisson and Jordan Henderson in memory of Pelé and David Johnson. After a minute’s applause, players from both teams wore black armbands as a mark of respect.

Following a Boxing Day defeat by Newcastle United, manager Brendan Rodgers elected to make two changes to his starting XI, with Wilfred Ndidi coming in to captain the side and Ayoze Pérez also starting from the off. Youri Tielemans and Dennis Praet, the latter injured, made way.

Into a second outing in five days, City were ahead within four minutes through Dewsbury-Hall, who collected Patson Daka's flick-on and strode forward before finishing beyond Alisson in front of the Kop.

The away end, populated by 2,935 fans, burst into voice, performing a rendition the Academy graduate's song. A brilliant start on Merseyside courtesy of the No.22's second Premier League goal of 2022/23.

Former Reds stopper Danny Ward had to smother Thiago's deflected attempt two minutes later, with Daniel Amartey getting a crucial block inside the Leicester 18-yard box. On the quarter-hour mark, Daka, the creator of City's opener, was forced off through injury and on came the Club's all-time leading Premier League goalscorer, Jamie Vardy.

A brace of attempts from Trent Alexander-Arnold saw the right-back strike the wall with a free-kick before there were men in the way of his first-time follow-up. Leicester were having to show their defensive grit after edging ahead early on. Alexander-Arnold resumed defensive duties not long after as substitute Vardy, collecting a pass from Dewsbury-Hall, tried to pick out Harvey Barnes at the far post. 

The resulting corner, whipped in by Pérez, was met by skipper on the night Ndidi, whose header flicked off Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and behind once more. Striker Darwin Núñez cleared another Pérez delivery, and at the other end, the Uruguay international cut a pass back to Mohamed Salah, who could only steer his attempt wide, right in front of the Blue Army.

On 26 minutes, Egypt forward Salah had the ball in the back of the net, but the goal was ruled out after Oxlade-Chamberlain was positioned offside in the build-up. Around 10 minutes later, Henderson drove a half-volley into the arms of Ward, who collected with ease. 

Although Leicester seemed in control heading into the interval, Faes, one of the Club's most consistent performers since joining on Deadline Day, sliced Alexander-Arnold's delivery from the right into his own net via the post. It was a big blow for the visitors, who would now need to show their mettle. 

Liverpool took the lead on the stroke of half-time. After Núñez lifted the ball over the onrushing Ward, his attempt struck the inside of the post, and Faes could only turn the ball into his own net. A second own goal meant the hosts were 2-1 up after 45 minutes.

Three minutes into the second period, Barnes flashed a left-footed strike just over Alisson's crossbar as a signal of intent from the men in blue. At the other end, Henderson was a whisker away from scoring a right-footed half-volley, with Ward thankful to watch it fly wide. Salah soon sent a daisy-cutter in a similar direction.

Fine work from Luke Thomas down the left saw him prod the ball into the path of Barnes, who motored into the area past Joël Matip, only to find Alisson in the way. It looked as if it might squeeze in at the far post, however Matip cleared his lines and Leicester were thwarted once more.

Approaching the hour mark, Belgium midfielder Tielemans came on in place of Ndidi in a second change of the evening for City. Dewsbury-Hall, later adjudged to be offside, spurned a huge chance for 2-2 as he headed Timothy Castagne's cross off target from 10 yards out.

As the rain came down in Liverpool, the first booking of the game was shown after Boubakary Soumaré arrived late on Thiago. There was less flow to the game now, but City remained intent in their quest to claim something from a match in which they had deservedly led.

A third substitution of the night meant Pérez left the field for Nigeria frontman Kelechi Iheanacho, who had just under 20 minutes to make an impact. Soon after, Ward conjured up a good save to turn away Salah's goal-bound effort with his legs, before Dewsbury-Hall lashed a first-time shot well over.

The game was still in the balance, with both teams gunning for a fourth and potentially decisive goal of the evening. Núñez smashed over from the edge of the area, while Barnes curled onto the crossbar, although the flag would later go up for offside against Vardy.

Amartey got in the way of Núñez's long-ranger, and then Ward was on hand to expertly tip Salah's placed strike behind for a corner. Delivered by substitute Kostas Tsimikas, Núñez was able to guide a header on target, however Ward gathered from the forward.

The Foxes had four additional minutes to earn a point at Anfield, but play was stop-start and it was difficult to gain any rhythm. They created one final attack, however it would not bear fruit.

Major moment – Faes' own goals

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Wout Faes

The Belgium centre-back was unfortunate to score two own goals at Anfield.

It started brightly for Leicester, with Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall the man to put his side in front. However, a hugely frustrating final 10 minutes of the first half meant two own goals from Wout Faes handed the points to Liverpool.

Who impressed – KDH's battling display

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Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall

Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall celebrates his opener, but it was ultimately in vain.

Speaking on LCFC Radio's Matchday Live, Gerry Taggart said: "It's a difficult one because there were some good performances. Harvey Barnes played well and was really productive in the first half. Luke Thomas was excellent at left-back coming up against Mo Salah and played really well. He defended really well after a tough game on Boxing Day against Newcastle. But the one man that stood out for me was Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall. He was back to his best, he had a willingness to drive the team forward and got the goal that put Leicester in the lead."

Where do we stand – 13th

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Jamie Vardy

Jamie Vardy came off the bench after Patson Daka sustained an injury in the first half.

City's final match of 2022 sees them positioned 13th in the Premier League table.

Coming up – Fulham (H)

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Harvey Barnes

The Academy graduate applauds the travelling fans at full-time.

Into the New Year, Leicester City's opening test of 2023 sees them tackle Fulham at King Power Stadium on Tuesday 3 January (7:45pm kick-off), prior to facing Gillingham at Priestfield Stadium in the Emirates FA Cup Third Round on Saturday 7 January (12:30pm kick-off). 

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